Askan Rahgozar believes that persistence in making feature animations results in a thriving in the animation industry in Iran. “Then” he added: “We can expect great things to happen for this industry.”

Mr. Rahgozar, himself, is one of the pioneers in gaining international success in this field.

Rahgozar, director of the animation “Last Fiction” which has been successfully present at Annecy and Cannes International Film Festivals, talked about the reasons for this animation’s success at these festivals, while it is still in the filming stage: “The animation ‘Last Fiction’ is an international film; it talks about the battle between good and evil which has always been dealt with in all cultures. The next point is the quality. It was really interesting and surprising for them to watch a high-quality animation from Iran. On the other hand, this cartoon has an artistic identity. Robert Valley, the American artist, told us that whoever watches your work, at first thinks that it is an anime. But this is not that, but generally, it is interesting and lovely.”

Pointing out their successful presence at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, he stated: “We presented more than 50-page texts, 70-80 page art books, storyboards, sketches and etc. The interesting thing was that having a trailer was an option, and didn’t consider as an important factor. We had to explain to them why we are making this animation and who our audiences are. We also had to explain about its potentials and why and how it is interesting for the international audience. This was how ‘Last Fiction’ was accepted and paid extra attention to.”

In response to the question of the effects that the presence of feature animations can have on the cultural diplomacy, he explained: “Surely this has complete positive effects. For instance, at the Annecy festival, they asked us political questions such as whether we were allowed to make such a film, or what we did with the censorship problem. And we responded that not only we are allowed to make these kinds of films, but also we are supported by the people and the government. Although we didn’t have much support from the government! But we responded as such. A lot of people came to our booth and were surprised by the quality of our work.”

In response to the question that we have had many more achievements in short animations at the international events, and why this point is not generalized to the long feature animations, he said: “We haven’t been that successful in short animation in comparison to countries such as Italy and Russia. But, if we want to compare our success in short animation with feature animation, the reason is definitely our long-term experience in making short ones.” He added: “We have been making short animations for a long time, and of course, we have more experience in that field. Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults has been, for long, supporting this field of activities and it has produced some great works.”